Small difference equating to a big difference?


My system had started to sound a bit dull and lifeless to me ever since I put in some blue jeans interconnects. I'm getting a lightspeed attenuator in a week or two so I purchased two pairs of short, inexpensive interconnects with a really low rated capacitance in order to use them with the lightspeed. Anyways, I replaced a pair of audioquest diamond back rca's between my dac and pre, and a pair of signal cable silver resolution xlr's between my amp and pre amp with the blue jeans so that I could have them broken in by the time the lightspeed gets here.
Anyhow, my system had, what I thought, lost a lot of detail and "life" and couldn't really figure out exactly why. So I grabbed two pairs of analysis plus oval interconnects to demo tonight and voila, right from the first song, I had my detail and "life" back. When I a/b compared them to the blue jeans I couldn't spot big differences like I thought I'd be able to, but for some reason it does in fact sound like a big difference and I can't put my finger, errrr, ear on it. The analysis plus do have slightly more detail and sound slightly more fleshed out but the don't sound day and night different but they do; does that make sense to anyone?
At the end, I a/b compared the original diamond back from dac to pre, signal cable silver res xlr between the pre and amp to the analysis plus between dac and pre and also between pre and amp. The diamond back / signal set up had more bass and equaled the analysis plus in all other areas but for some reason I still slightly prefer the analysis plus.

I've found also that sometimes it's hard for me to give a product an honest assesment if I've read reviews on the product before I listen to it because I'll be anticipate hearing the pros and cons about that product before I even begin to listen.

So what do you think is going on here with such perceived slight differences making a bigger difference? Is it possible I'm picking up on things in the sound that I'm not consciously aware of analysing like tone or prat?
b_limo
Does any of that makes sense? Absofeakinlutely. Welcome to the beginning of the high end (that is, presumably it's a sign that you're taking the sound of your gear seriously). Many a hobbyist has gone on from where your at to build some mighty fine systems by indeed paying attention to the kind of things you just outlined. In my case it has taken me over 23 years to get to that point without breaking the bank, so don't be too surprised, except possibly at how far your instincts (which seem to be on target, to me) might end up taking you over time. That bit of "magic" or "life" IS the small, but also very BIG thing that this hobby often about. Synergy might be the word most often tossed around. With IC's in general, I've found that if it relates to openness, less smearing of the sound, better soundstaging, more air or space around the instruments, that is largely an insulation thing (less is more), but sometimes there can be a system-related effect that not many but the most advanced of ee-types among us can begin to explain to us with any degree of predictability of the results. So, whenever you happen to stumble across something like this by experimentation, do yourself a favor and try to come to grips with what you might suspect are the pertinent questions to ask...even if the answer is not yet in sight, you may eventually come across it later while looking for something else. I've done that countless times over the years, but I would never have recognized the relevance of the related topics had I not taken the time to at least fathom the questions of my own in my head to begin with. IME, hifi's, like women, are often mysterious creatures that must be lived with for some time in order to truly understand and appreciate them ;)
It doesn't take much to bring out the missing elements that make music sound right.
Ah, to be at the top of the slippery slope once again, those were the days.
Rrog, that may ultimately depend on just how far someone ends up wanting to follow through with that approach - the further you take it, the more technically challenging it can become...but I'll concede that everyone will define the target endpoint for themselves differently (as it should be).
Could just be as Ivan has said that the inclusion of 2 of the same branded ICs has that better synergy that is making that difference. But might I also ask if you made any other subtle adjustment to our system as well when you changed the Ics? And yes review hype CAN INFLUENCE what you hear or at least change some of your preseption but how much time had the Analysis had on them as opposed to the Blue Jeans? That burn time also could have some serious influence on what you're hearing or not hearing as well
Analysis Plus will do that. IMHO far and away the best buys in audio, even their basic 99$ IC's are killers.
A small difference is usually all it takes to make an impact of larger proportions.
Once something sounds more 'real', the small amount of improvement done is all it takes to make it all the more appreciable and seemingly, a larger and more rewarding improvement.

A drop or rise of a few degrees can make a big difference in ones comfort. Knowing that a small difference exists in listening and that small improvement was all it took to improve your listening comfort level (the level it takes for you to just listen for pleasures sake) can be quite the revelation.

All the best,
Nonoise
>>>>>Speaking of Analysis Plus cables, you oughta hear Analysis Plus interconnects and power cord after they've been cryo'd and burned in on the AudioDharma Cable Cooker. <<<<<<
Humans are fallible creatures. That's basically it. Accurate assessments take time and a lot of care.
Maybe you are more like me; a lumper rather than a splitter (of individual attributes). I'm not very analytical in my listening; more of a gestalt kind of guy. Which one "speaks" to more? Does it give me a better emotional connection to the artist? Sometimes I can identify the reason, sometimes not, but in the end I really don't care.
Wait a cotton-picking minute B_limo....are you trying to tell me that you hear sonic differences between cables????

Wait right here, I'll go round up Rok2id, Irvrobinson and the rest of the cable police to read you the riot act.

You didn't perform a DBT, so the differences that you think you hear are invalid. ;)
Ivan_nosnibor, For the OP it was as simple as changing a couple of interconnects.
They always sound much better coming out of the Hype Cooker.
I have enough IC's required to make a "full Loom" (4) from
AP,Straightwire, Morrow, MAC,ZU, MIT, DH labs,AudioArt and Wireworld.
Most are middle range except the ZU and MIT which are upper-middle to low highend .
In any possible combo of above ONE AP makes a difference,DH and ZU sound good on about anything.
I think once I get my lightspeed I'll buy the ap ovals for $84 each pair and also try some signal cable silver resolutions also. Those mac ultra silvers and quads are probably ones I'll try also. I really don't understand why some people don't think cables sound different. Why not just run 24 guage radio schack cable to your $2500 mcintosh amp then? I guess all cables sound the same, and stereos sound the same, all speakers sound the same. Shoot, I guess all cars are the same too; doors, tires, windshield, they're all the same. I don't understand why my rig sounds the same as a bose wave radio, and why that 420 hp m3 isn't any faster or badder than the 220hp mini...
I think the thing with cables(and I'm probably wrong about this)is that just pulling them out and then plugging them back in changes the sound. So the connection skews the perceived improvement in that the same change would have occurred had you simply re-plugged the original. We're dealing with the flow of millions upon millions of electrons so does it not stand to reason achieving a level playing field is literally impossible? The best connector is no connector at all. I wonder what differences you'd hear if these cables were hard wired into the component. In any case, I don't think the differences are important enough except in cases where a component requires a very specific characteristic. In which case differences among those wouldn't amount to more than with other cables.
Csontos, the best cables are no cables? I tried this configuration and couldn't hear any sound; very black background, but no sound.
Read on, read on:)
I wonder what differences you'd hear if these cables were hard wired into the component.
In some cases a more "robust" sound with slightly better extension particularly at the top end.
(Yup, i tried it in my youth...)
So did I;), more than once.
Damn, I really didn't want to hear a negative difference with these blue jeans interconnects because I don't want to have to go through the hassle of mailing them back and waiting three weeks to get my money back, but they just really suck in my system. I can tell a big difference now between signal cable silver res xlrs between the amp and pre, and audioquest diamond back rca's between my dac and pre vs. blue jeans rca's in both locations. Whoever says they can't hear a difference can come over and listen to some cymbals and high hats on the same song between the two set-ups and you'll be a believer also.
I use Diamond Back on everything. Not junky and not expensive. In keeping with my little rant, they are also the models with cold welded rca's. Which model Diamond Backs are you using and do the Blue Jeans cables have cold welded rca's?
Csontos, "I think the thing with cables(and I'm probably wrong about this)is that just pulling them out and then plugging them back in changes the sound. So the connection skews the perceived improvement in that the same change would have occurred had you simply re-plugged the original. We're dealing with the flow of millions upon millions of electrons so does it not stand to reason achieving a level playing field is literally impossible? The best connector is no connector at all. I wonder what differences you'd hear if these cables were hard wired into the component. In any case, I don't think the differences are important enough except in cases where a component requires a very specific characteristic. In which case differences among those wouldn't amount to more than with other cables."

Basically I agree 100%
Wow, haven't enjoyed such support as of yet! Looking forward to more of the same:) (I think?)